81-Year-Old Identified in Fatal Crash
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Jun. 19, 2013
RANCHO MIRAGE - Police have identified the woman who died in Monday's fatal car crash as Barbara Schmitz from Rancho Mirage.
The accident happened around 2:50 p.m. on Highway 111 and Dunes View Road. According to Riverside County Sheriff's Department, she and her husband made a left turn going westbound on Highway 111, when another car driving eastbound t-boned them. Her husband, Jerry, was hospitalized in critical condition and the other driver was also sent to the hospital with moderate injuries.
Barbara lived with her husband at Sunrise Country Club where the staff describe them as a loving and giving couple, always ready to lend a hand.
"Great, great people, beautiful lovely family. I think Friday was going to be their 61st wedding anniversary and nicer people you couldn't meet," shared Geri Downs, a staff member from Sunrise Country Club.
She said the Schmitz have lived there for more than 20 years, and during that time, they've made an impact in the small community.
"They're kind, sweet helpful people, just the best friends and neighbors and colleagues that people can have around here," said Downs.
She and other members of the club made a small memorial in remembrance of Barbara. They laid flowers and a small cross in front of the 76 gas station on Rancho Las Palmas, next to the crash site.
According to neighbors, Barbara leaves behind several children, including Linda Herold. She's a real estate agent at the country club.
"She's the rock of the family. She kind of holds everybody together, but I think she'll have her time," expressed Downs, "But she has a very large, extended family, very supportive and a lot of friends here."
With the support of loved ones, Barbara will be remembered as a giving person, and the rest of the community holds Jerry in their thoughts, praying for his recovery.
One of the drivers involved in the accident is in jail. Sheriff's deputies have identified him as 28-year-old Scott Bahls from Palm Springs. He's facing vehicular manslaughter charges. Another driver was also detained after the accident, but authorities have not released further details.